Wednesday, October 2, 2013

8th Anniversary at Starved Rock

September 30th was our 8th wedding anniversary and David and I spent the day at Starved Rock. I packed a basket with a picnic lunch and we ate at noon by the river, but all the other hours of the day we spent plunged into the woods.

It was a day of dreamful beauty for me. It seemed every turn in the trail led to another scene more beautiful than the last; the afternoon sun was drowsy and warm and the woods full of the dropping of acorns and quick dashings of chipmunks and fat grey squirrels.

We stood on high overlooks above the river and went down to explore deep canyons. David found shallow caves hollowed from the rock.

I felt as if I had stepped back in time or even to a different world. Can you imagine Gollum swimming here in the forbidden pool? Or finding yourself stumbling into the hidden valley of Rivendell?

We decided to dress 1840's-ish for our outing. I wanted an opportunity to wear my dress again, as I haven't worn it since I made it for Christmas nearly two years ago! David looked very dashing in his black frock suit and plaid waistcoat. He is starting to grow a beard again.

Though after lunch, his coat and hat came off and I cast away my shoes and stockings.

We both agreed our favorite places were the canyons. We were able to visit four of them. Someday we will go back and see the rest. These photos are of Wildcat Canyon, which we reached by way of a very steep wooden stair. Despite the drought, there were still pools of water and the rocks were damp with growing green things.

We ended our day by stopping in late at a little locally owned Italian restaurant and eating far too much homemade pasta and sausages and bread and fried mushrooms. No room for dessert and we both had to ask to have our leftovers boxed up to take home! The portions at Caponi's are enormous. If any of you are ever in the itty bitty out of the way town of Toluca, IL. . .go there. Just do it.

I can't believe we have been married for 8 years! When I think back to our beginning and remember how young we were, how we barely knew each other, how we had absolutely nothing when we started out, and then I look at what we have now, it amazes me. God surely works all things together for good! Our adventure together has had its many ups and downs. Sometimes I wonder how it is possible we have managed to stay together - we are both so headstrong and opinionated and independent! - but I see God's hand continually molding and changing us. Chiseling raw rock into perfectly fitted pieces as we learn to let go of ourselves and strive to serve the other. He has blessed us so much.


P.S. - my stays are *almost* done - just have to finish whipping in the lining! I WILL finish them before I get a baby bump! Haha. I am so pleased with how they have come out.


  1. Dear Sarah,

    First of all, congratulations on your 8th year of marriage! Secondly, your pictures of this day are so beautiful! What great reminders of your day together! I especially like the ones in what appears to be a cave! Beautiful!



  2. In a week my husband and I will also be celebrating our 8th anniversary! I'm sure we'll go to our local canyon, but will have nothing so beautiful as your pictures! I really should make us some period pieces...

  3. WOW! I hope my anniversary looks like that someday! LOL BEAUTIFUL! I noticed you spell grey with an 'e' just like me! LOL BEAUTIFUL pics! I hope your stays end up as pretty as they are now!


  4. Starved Rock! It's one of my favorite places in Illinois, and I try to go whenever I'm home, but I've never thought to go in period clothing. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Dear Sarah Jane,

    Happy anniversary to the both of you. Yes, it's acorn dropping time, and all of creation is in the midst of harvest. You have been thinking about your current harvest: love and service, patience and fortitude. Bless you all.

    What wonderful pictures. Perhaps a little picture book will grow out of it that you and your children can page through as the years pass, and you recall one lambent day at the end of September?



  6. Stunning photo's, thank you for sharing this amazing place with us. Happy Anniversary to you both, I so enjoy following your blog.

  7. Happy Anniversary! It looks like a perfect day :)

  8. What a lovely day it seem to have been! I hope you'll have many more.

  9. Sarah and David congratulations on 8 years of marriage! Praise the Lord Sarah you see Gods hand in your marriage and how He has continued to bless and shape and mold the two of you. Its beautiful to see that even though I see just a glimpse through your blog. :) The pictures look like something out of a fairy tale/movie. Now I want to go exploring there! :) My dad, sister, and I went exploring at Mananas battlefield here on the East coast last Saturday. It was really fun and exciting as well.

    In Christ with love,

  10. Happy Anniversary! Great pictures, especially the one of the 2 of you together.

  11. Congratulations on a wonderful 8 years! What a gorgeous place for sure! What a sweet way to spend a great day. I love love love the photo of you and your bare feet by the water with a few whites peeking out, love it.
    Congrats again.

  12. Congratulations! We're coming up on 8 years as well. I love the photos, especially the one with the shawl over your head - very cool! And such a gorgeous location. Where is that? I'm from Indiana and have driven through Illinois a lot, but have never heard of a place that looks like that!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!